Sharleen Spiteri talks about reworking of hits for album and tour

Sharleen Spiteri
Sharleen Spiteri

When Texas started work on their latest record, they didn’t begin by writing songs - they put their guitars to one side and dug out some old photo albums.

When Texas started work on their latest record, they didn’t begin by writing songs - they put their guitars to one side and dug out some old photo albums.

“I’d already worked with the producers Truth and Soul on my solo album Melody, and I really loved the way that they put a record together”

Sharleen Spiteri

“Twenty-five years already felt like a really significant anniversary, but it was only when we looked at all the old photos that things felt so much more real,” said Sharleen Spiteri, who formed Texas when she was a 17-year-old hairdresser with her friend Johnny McElhone.

“With this album, we didn’t just want to make a Greatest Hits again - that can be a bit lazy!” the Scottish singer laughed. “We wanted to document our history - 25 years, as a band, when you think about it, that’s like ‘woah!’ Also, it’s important, because there are really not that many female-fronted bands who make that.”

Those photo albums - filled with snaps of Sharleen taken by world-famous photographers Ellen von Unwerth, Juergen Teller and Rankin, among others - inspired the band to revisit the most iconic songs from their discography. “We play these songs all the time, so now they just feel like part of my everyday life and routine,” explains Spiteri, but this anniversary prompted the musicians to listen to their tracks with ‘fresh ears’.

As soon as they hit on this idea, Spiteri knew who to call.

“I’d already worked with the producers Truth and Soul on my solo album Melody, and I really loved the way that they put a record together,” she said . “I knew they would have a great approach to this album, because although our fans and people who know us have grown up with these songs, the Truth and Soul guys hadn’t heard them before we went into the studio with them. They wouldn’t know a Texas song if it hit them in the face! So when we played ‘I Don’t Want A Lover’ to them, it could have been a demo, for all they knew. They were coming to it completely fresh.”

The band worked with the producers in their Brooklyn, New York studio to rework their hits, and this collaborative process gave Spiteri a chance to re-hear the songs she has been performing for a quarter of a century. 
“The songs took on a whole new meaning for me, because we considered them so much more. Parts of the songs which might not have seemed so important suddenly became so poignant to me, I suppose because I was singing them with a whole new perspective,” she reflected.

The singer is sharing some of that wisdom and experience on a UK tour with Texas this month. The interactive set up of ‘An Evening With Texas’ gives the audience the chance to pick the set list for each show, with Spiteri sharing necdotes between the songs.

With 25 years’ worth of hits to choose from, the shows are a true homage to Texas’ successful quarter century of making music together.

‘An Evening With Texas’ is at The Lowry, Salford, on April 20. The band will play at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on December 16.